Again, we’re in the midst of a serial, so let’s open with a spoiler warning.


Episode 4:

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I think it’s worth noting that this serial is written by Terry Nation; I think this is the first he wrote since the return of the Daleks to the Doctor Who universe (after unsuccessfully trying to get the US market to buy the Daleks as a tv property.)

The four humanoids (The Doctor and three Thals) lift into the shaft moments before the Daleks break through the door. The Daleks think they’re hiding and by time they release where the prisoners went, they’re out of range of the weaponry.

Rebec says she’s afraid of heights and daren’t look down, and then everyone else, being assholes, talk about having to go miles before they reach the surface. That’s nice.

The Daleks order a patrol to head to the surface to intercept the prisoners, and an anti-gravitational disc is to be brought to the shaft.

Jo follows a Dalek squad to the hidden explosives. The Daleks prime the detonation mechanisms and leave, leaving the explosives to self-detonate. Jo waits till they leave and then fiddles with two of the three dials, but before she can deactivate(?) the third, a rock falls from above and strikes her head, rendering her unconscious.

A Dalek follows the prisoners up the shaft via an anti-gravitational disc. Outside, the Daleks near the shaft terminus on the surface.

Jo wakes up, sees the third device is about to detonate, and grabs the two she deactivated and runs off and hides. Apparently, the Daleks approaching the shaft are right there (perhaps the explosives were hidden near the shaft) and when the one device goes off, they are caught in the blast.

The Doctor and Thals see they’re being pursued; they’re almost at the top when, suddenly their air balloon tears and they all must grab the convenient rungs on the side of the shaft (cuz Daleks use them, yo) and climb out. The Thals make it out and have to pull The Doctor up via a rope for some unexplained reason.

The Dalek pursuing via anti-grav disc is almost there, but the Thals throw some small boulders down the shaft, destroying it.

The Daleks order a massive search for the prisoners, pooling all resources.

Jo finds The Doctor and the Thals and there’s a happy reunion. While Jo and The Doctor catch up on what’s happened, Rebec and Taron talk – he’s not happy that she came on the back-up mission. It seems they’re a couple; he’s afraid that with her presence, he won’t be able to make the right decision and all but blames her for coming. (Geez, dude, I get what you’re saying but give her a kiss and a hug, man. The chicks dig the hugging and kissing.)

The Daleks plan to release a disease to kill the prisoners.

Jo and The Doctor give a little pep talk to Taron and Rebec and then Codal returns with Vaber and the other Thal (who were at the gate to the city) arrive. After Vaber says they went back for the bombs but they were detonated, Jo tells everyone they still have two bombs.

The group heads to a rocky area to sit out the night – on Spiridon, the nights are near artic and the rocky area is warmer due to absorbing the sun’s rays during the tropical day.

Avoiding a patrol of Spiridons (wearing furs to stay warm) and Daleks, The Doctor notices that the Daleks seem to be moving sluggishly. At the rocky area, a strange creature flies overhead, startling everyone.

Vaber returns to “rashly advocating direct attack” mode.

Codal and Taron discusses the refrigeration unit being the point of attack; Vaber chimes in about leaving now with the bombs. He’s rash and wanting to attack to the point of being a poorly written two-dimensional cariacture, not character.

Vaber and Taron get into a fight; Latep and Codal have to break them up. (I’d have put a laser beam between Vaber’s eyes, personally. There’s no place for stupidity and insubordination in a mission like this.)

The Daleks discuss the bacteria they’ve prepared – it will kill all plant and animal life within one day. The bacteria will be ready to released in half a day. Only those who are immunized against it will survive.

Vaber sneaks off while everyone is sleeping, taking the bombs with him. He even leaves a note, “I’ll do what I have to do, alone.” Aw, that’s just what I would do. You know, just so they know for sure where I’m going. Taron and Codal set off after him.

Vaber is caught by Spiridons; one of them says, “Take him to the Daleks,”… and the credits roll.

Creepy enough of a cliffhanger.

 

 

Episode 5:

Taron and Codal see Vaber being taken away; the Spiridons have the bombs, too, and they pursue their comrade and his captors.

Strange creatures lurk about the perimeter of the camp as the Plain of Stones; Rebec fires her last two charges on her gun to scare them off, but they don’t scare easily or for long.

Taron and Codal attack a Spiridon lagging behind, knock it out and Taron dons its furs. He hurries to catch up, telling Codal to stay close.

After Latep uses his last two charges, The Doctor has everyone brandish torches to keep the creatures at bay.

Codal approaches Taron, but it turns out it’s one of the Spiridons, who attacks him. Taron saves him at the last moment. Codal takes the other furs and they make plans to grab the bombs and free Vaber.

At hearing the refrigeration unit was the target of the Thal’s plan, he says that’s the worst possible idea – the unit is keeping the majority of the Dalek army on ice. Destroying it would thaw them out.

Wester, the Spiridon who helped Jo, shows up at the camp. He brings news of the bacteria.

Vaber is brought before two Daleks, who demand that he take them to where his companions are. He pretends to play along and makes a break for it, but is killed by the Daleks. Taron and Codal grab the explosives and run off during the distraction.

The Daleks begin immunizing theirselves and their Spiridon slaves against the bacteria. All units are recalled to city to be treated.

At morning, Taron and Codal return to the Plains of Stone with the bombs. When Taron says a Dalek patrol is on their heels, The Doctor says it’s time to stop running and use their brains to fight.

The Doctor and Taron discuss the ice pools; The Doctor points out that the Daleks seem to be vulnerable to colder temperatures.

Jo and Latep intentionally get spotted by the Dalek patrol (which has orders to exterminate all aliens, take no prisoners) and lead them back to the plains. The Doctor draws them off near one of the ice pools. Taron lays in wait and the two of them grab the first Dalek.

Jo and the other Thals tangle with the other Dalek, bringing it to the ice pool. Both Daleks are pushed into the freezing liquid. When they seem docile, Taron and Latep open their chassis and pull out the dead Daleks from inside.

At the city, the Daleks receive the distress signal when the chassis is opened. They decide not to wait any longer on the treatment, prior to the release of the bacteria. (Why they didn’t treat everyone else while they were waiting, I don’t get.) Wester arrives, saying he has a vital message for the section leader. He says he has lured the aliens into a trap, and is instructed to enter the laboratory to await the leader’s attention.

Rebec has entered the empty chassis; Jo and Latep are to go to the shaft with one bomb, while Rebec, The Doctor, Codal and Taron (the latter three in furs) enter the city. They are told to report to central command for treatment, and they see Wester in the lab with the Daleks.

A fault in the device used to administer the immunization has been rectified by the section leader and another Dalek, as Wester stands there with them. Wester runs forward, opening the container of the bacteria. The section leader and associate are already immunizied, but they cannot open the door for fear of contaminating the others (convenient plot device, that.)

When Wester dies from the bacteria, he becomes visible. Spiridons have pasty skin and a wide nose.

As Rebec and her ‘Spiridons’ attempt to leave to go to the lower level, a Dalek realises they are not Spiridons and shouts, “Emergency! Emergency! Emergency,”… and the credits roll.

Nicely done, that.

 

 

Episode 6:

The Doctor and associates run off, pursued by Daleks. A maximum security alert is issued.

Again, the Daleks order for the aliens to be pushed to the lower levels.

Two Daleks fire on the Dalek chassis, but fortunately Rebec had already abadoned it. They take the lift down, hoping to use their one bomb to prevent the army from being revived.

The Daleks receive a report that the Dalek Supreme is approaching in a spaceship. Dalek command has identified The Doctor (finally) and the Daleks decide that he must be captured and kept alive for the Dalek Supreme to interrogate.

Jo and Latep see the Dalek Supreme’s ship landing. The Dalek Supreme, a gold and black Dalek, departs, accompanied by other Daleks. Latep explains to Jo, who’d never seen a Dalek like that before, that it is a member of the Dalek Supreme Council.

There seems to be some physical chemistry between Jo and Latep.

Back at the shaft room, The Doctor and Codal try to figure out their plan as the Daleks try to break down the barricade they constructed.

The Dalek Supreme arrives to take over command of the operation. The Daleks report that the invisibility field for Daleks is operating at satisfactory levels. It gives the order to shut down the refrigeration unit – the army is to be thawed out, the invasion is about to begin!

The Dalek Supreme exterminates the section leader for its failure to capture or kill the aliens.

Jo and Latep are at the top of the shaft, readying to climb down. REALLY? The Doctor said it was MILES to the bottom! MILES of climbing down with rope and/or those handholds? I DON’T THINK SO!

The army of Daleks begin to thaw, starting to move about in the grand chamber.

The Daleks are almost through the barricade into the shaft terminus room.

The bomb is knocked over one of the thawing Daleks and though it doesn’t go off, the timing mechanism is damaged. Codal works on repairing it, while The Doctor explains his plan – they can use the bomb to create a chain reaction to flood the chamber with ice from the volcano, freezing the Dalek army for centuries.

Latep and Jo make it down the shaft, and seeing the Daleks break through the barrier, Latep uses the bomb they have to destroy the patrol. They reunite with The Doctor and the others.

Codal repairs the timer, setting it for a thirty second timer. The Doctor wedges it into one of the fissures as more Daleks from the city arrive. The Dalek army begins to be more active. The explosion catches the recent arrivals from the city, and after what seems to be a failure, engulfs the army with the liquid ice.

The Dalek Supreme orders for all sections to be sealed, but the controls are not responding. They send a message to the Dalek Supreme Council about the loss of the army and then gives the order to set self-destruct on all equipment and they abadon the base.

Latep takes Jo aside to talk to her. The Doctor asks Taron that, when they return to Skaro, not to glamourise their story, not make war and battle seem to appealing – he says the Thal people are known throughout history for their love of peace.

Latep asks Jo to go with him, but she says no, she wants to return to her own world. The Thals take the Dalek Supreme’s ship and take off. As Jo and The Doctor watch the ship launch, the Supreme Dalek and two others arrive. They pursue The Doctor and Jo, who must pass through the area with the squirting plants (which can cause the fungal infection that Jo received earlier) to get to the TARDIS. They make it and take off.

The Dalek Supreme says that preparations to free the Dalek army from the ice will begin, this is merely a delay not a defeat.

The Daleks are never defeated!” – The Dalek Supreme.

Jo tells The Doctor that she wants to go home, back to Earth.

Home it is, Miss Grant,” he replies… and the final credits roll.

A very, very enjoyable serial. Some small issues (miles? Really? And Vaber was handled a bit poorly in much of his characterisation) but other than that, I highly enjoyed it. Terry Nation does the cliffhanger endings rather well.  

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